About forty participants from various government ministries and civil society organizations in Tanzania met last week to develop a national strategy on gender and climate change. Hosted by the Division of Environment in the Vice President’s Office, the workshop was facilitated by the IUCN Tanzania office and the IUCN Global Gender Programme; and ran for three days from 28 to 30 September 2011.
The workshop was organized in response to the request from the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office – Environment, for IUCN’s support and collaboration in gender mainstreaming in environmental management. The process of developing the gender strategy is aligned with the development of the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.
Speaking during the opening of the workshop, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s Office, Engineer Ngosi Mwihava, noted that the gender strategy is a good input to the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan that is in the final stages of preparation. “The document that will come out of this workshop is of utmost importance to our nation and I would like to assure you that the Government will continue to support gender integration into various government efforts to address climate change."
He reiterated the Tanzania Government’s appreciation to IUCN for accepting the invitation to support the mainstreaming of gender in climate change efforts in Tanzania.
The workshop facilitator, Ms. Lorena Aguilar who is the Senior Gender Advisor noted that Tanzania is one of the few countries in the world that have agreed to put gender in their National Climate Change Strategy, in compliance with the agreement produced in Cancun and showing the rest of the world on what can be done during the UNFCCC COP 17 in Durban. “The workshop has been impressive because it brought stakeholders from various sectors, from both government and civil society to discuss issues and contribute to the strategy development process.”
Participants reflected on various issues that relate to climate change and gender and learnt from other strategies from Jordan, Central America and Egypt. Thereafter and through the group work, participants developed possible activities for the Tanzania strategy.
One of the participants, Engineer Elizabeth Nkini said that “the strategy is a step towards ensuring that all policies and legislation are mainstreaming gender and this should also be reflected in their implementation”.
John Mapunda from the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children observed that the outcome of this workshop will be an important step in gender mainstreaming in climate change. “Many strategies, policies and budgets do not consider gender issues, and this will therefore, inform the national strategy development processes,” he observed. He also suggested human settlements and infrastructure development as additional areas that should be included in the climate change strategy because they have significant impact on gender.
For more information, please contact Abdalla Said Shah, Head of IUCN Tanzania Office: Abdalla.shah@iucn .org